Evonik invests in animal-free leather

Modern Meadow produces animal-free collagen, a protein naturally found in animal hides, via a fermentation process using yeast cells

While there is currently a strong trend towards vegan beauty, consumers are at the same time increasingly concerned about the amount of petroleum-derived materials in their product packaging.

However, an ideal alternative to leather or faux-leather embellishment may soon be available, thanks, in part, to Evonik.

The company’s venture capital arm has invested in a start-up that produces animal-free leather-like materials.

Modern Meadow, based in Nutley, New Jersey, produces animal-free collagen, a protein naturally found in animal hides, via a fermentation process using yeast cells. Because it contains collagen, the material more closely resembles leather than existing synthetic equivalents.

The first branded materials line from Modern Meadow, Zoa biofabricated materials, will be offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colours, with the possibility of lightweight options, new processing forms and patterns.

“We are excited to further strengthen our partnership with Modern Meadow, a highly dynamic and visionary company,” says Jean-Luc Herbeaux, head of Evonik’s Health Care business line.

“The fit is perfect as we are also looking into opportunities provided by biofabricated collagen for the healthcare market.”

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Evonik Nutrition and Care (more information, website)